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Washington Watch: U.S. Sens. David Vitter, Elizabeth Warren make an odd political couple in Congress

Louisiana Republican David Vitter ranks with the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate, but he’s generated a considerable amount of attention for his across-the-aisle work on a bill to update federal regulation of toxic chemicals. On Thursday, he and the legislation’s other leading sponsor, Democrat Tom Udall, of New Mexico, held a news… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Boustany, Fleming diverge on trade issues

Charles Boustany and John Fleming are both doctors, both Republicans and both congressmen from Louisiana. In the grand scheme of things, they are not that far apart politically: Both are strongly conservative. But within the philosophical confines of the House Republican membership, there is some daylight between them. Boustany, first… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Campaign Legal Center ‘very well may file a complaint against’ Bobby Jindal for rules violation related to presidential contenders, finances

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

— Maybe Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal just got lucky with his timing. Or maybe he doesn’t think he’s breaking any federal laws on raising and spending money for a presidential campaign. Or maybe he’ll argue that everyone else is doing it, too. Or maybe he doesn’t much care, figuring that by the time any… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: If there’s one thing President Obama, Bobby Jindal have in common, it’s this...

— It’s been said that if you want to keep the peace at a friendly gathering with your in-laws (or anyone else for that matter), avoid discussions of politics or religion. So it would seem doubly wise for politicians to steer clear of public pronouncements on religion — even more so in light of… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: For Bobby Jindal, what does the hyphen in Indian-American mean?

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2012, file photo, Rep. Ami Bera is seen at his campaign office in Elk Grove, Calif., before winning his election that unseated incumbent Republican Dan Lungren. Bera, a first-term Democrat in a Sacramento-area seat, is a physician who favors expanding access to health care. Yet he has been voting with the Republican majority in the House to amend or overturn parts of the federal Affordable Care Act. Bera is one of a handful of Democrats in California who represent congressional districts that are closely divided between Democrats and Republicans, after voters approved an independent redistricting process. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Ami Bera is proud to be an Indian-American. “I do not shy away from my story,” Bera, a Democratic congressman from California whose parents immigrated from India, said recently. “There is no problem being an Indian-American. Because that is the tapestry of the United States. It’s generations of people coming together to weave… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Jindal’s public persona, history inspired strategy

If you didn’t know Gov. Bobby Jindal, you might think he was the sort of reactionary, know-nothing, anti-intellectual demagogue who gives knuckle-draggers a bad name. He’s scheduled to speak this month in Florida before a Catholic business organization whose anti-gay attitudes are so controversial that several other invitees have dropped out of the… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Voters offer mixed messages in election

There’s no shortage of indications of American voters’ exasperation with their elected officials. Approval ratings for Congress are abysmally low — far lower, even, than the dismal ratings for Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Republican congressional candidates across the country bashed in their successful effort in the Nov. 4 elections to win control of the Senate and expand… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Landrieu remark points to complicated legacy

Taken in isolation, Mary Landrieu’s remark about Southern attitudes toward African-Americans can hardly be disputed. “The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans,” she said in an interview Thursday with NBC News. Considering the region’s long and bloody history of slavery, lynchings, segregation and overtly racist politicians, that comment is a vast understatement.… Continue reading →

Gregory Roberts: State’s reputation holds true in campaigns

In Louisiana, as every schoolchild knows, the politics are as zesty as a bowl of gumbo. Helping to sustain that cliché in recent days are two members of the state’s congressional delegation, both involved in challenging re-election campaigns: Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister. Landrieu’s moment came during the tailgating outside Tiger… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Jindal’s Common Core stance politically useful

Maybe Gov. Bobby Jindal is onto something with this Common Core business after all. Not so much with his nominal constituency in the state of Louisiana, where his 180-degree turn against the educational standards regimen he once so warmly embraced has set him crosswise with the business community, the state education superintendent Jindal once supported, the Legislature… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Hot races to finish second

On Nov. 4, millions of voters across America will pick the winners in campaigns for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor and more. And in the two competitive U.S. House races in Louisiana, hard-charging Republican candidates will leave no stone unturned in their drives to ... finish second. Thanks to the vagaries of Louisiana elections law… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Landrieu, Cassidy compare campaign finances

Tuesday was a red-letter day for the political number crunchers: The deadline for U.S. House and Senate candidates to file their campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission for the April-June reporting period, when campaigns for the fall elections are gaining momentum. And it’s all available online, for ready conversion to… Continue reading →

Gregory Roberts: Senate has its own intrigues

The U.S. House drew most of the attention in Congress this past week, with the stunning defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Virginia primary Tuesday, setting off a scramble for the resulting openings in the Republican leadership. But the Senate quietly went about its business, too, and in a way that illustrates how legislating… Continue reading →